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Hermopolis Ibis
Hermopolis Temple plan
Location Upper Egypt - midway between Memphis and Thebes
West bank of the Nile
Nome15th nome of Upper Egypt Hare - the 15th Nome of Upper Egypt
Type of SettlementReligious center
Local deity- Thoth
- The city was also the cult center of the Ogdoad, the eight primeval deities who created the world, according to one of several Egyptian traditions
Necropolis- Located nearby at Tuna el-Gebel, it has catacombs of ibis and baboon burials.
- There are thousands of mummified baboons, ibises and ibis eggs. Several underground cult chapels cased with limestone blocks formed the entrance rooms into the ibis galleries.
- The rooms were 15 m long and contained cult niches with facades decorated with the shape of superimposed chapels carrying Uraeus friezes. These animals were sacred to Thoth cult.
Ancient nameEgyptian - Khemenu (The City of the Eight)
Greek - Hermopolis "the city of Hermes". Thoth resembled Hermes in Greek mythology
Contemporary nameEl Ashmunein
Historical Development- Old Kingdom - the town was an important cult centre
- Ptolemaic Period - the city grew into a large metropolis honoring Hermes ( Thoth ). The city became the capital of the Hare Nome (district)
- During the Islamic period the city was heavily plundered, who burned monumental stones for lime or carried them away for building materials
  1. The temple of Thoth, was constructed in several stages throughout the city's long history
    The largest remains date to the Late Kingdom during the reign of Nectanebo 1, who rebuilt parts of the structure and enclosed the temple precinct within huge mud brick walls, 15m deep. Alexander the Great extended the structure by constructing a magnificent portico, or pronaos, consisting of two rows of six limestone columns and colorful decoration
  2. Remains of the temple of Amun erected by Ramses 2 during the New Kingdom. The entrance pylon and part of the hypostyle hall of this structure can still be seen, but the rear parts are reduced to ground level and surrounded by water.
  3. Outside the temple enclosure, a Christian basilica built in the 5th century AD, over the top of an earlier Ptolemaic temple erected by Ptolemy 3. Most of the granite columns still stand in the rectangular structure of the church
  4. Further to the south, a pair of colossi of Thoth as a baboon, stand before the completely ruined remains of a temple which has not been clearly dated

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By Ayman Fadl - Copyright © 2001-2014